OK. Let’s start. I’m writing this blog for several reasons. First, I teach public relations at Kent State University. We’re trying to teach our students how to use “social media,” while being expert in writing and strategic thinking as it relates to public relations. I can’t teach something that I don’t know about. So let’s give it a try.
Second, I’m inspired by my friend and Kent State colleague Bill Sledzik. Bill has been blogging now for more than a year. And his blog, toughsledding, is one of the best. Trust me. I’ve read many of the public relations blogs. Bill combines the best of both worlds: he is an excellent educator and an experienced PR practitioner. If you want to read a thoughtful, insightful blog about public relations and how it affects our lives, read Bill’s. By comparison, I’m sure mine will be viewed as blog lite.
But saying that, I do have something to say. I was a senior manager (corporate communications and for a few years human resources) at a Fortune 500 company. I operated my own public relations business. And now I teach public relations and supervise students in a student-run public relations agency. I’ll talk more about Flash Communications later; it really is a program that helps our students succeed.
Through the years I have been fortunate to have many mentors. Hank Wardle and Tony Massi in the 1960s and 1970s were innovators and advocates of employee communications long before that became fashionable. John Ong, BFGoodrich’s longtime CEO and more recently U.S. Ambassador to Norway, was the most ethical executive you could imagine or ever hope to work for. He shaped my view that it really is possible to make difficult decisions while still doing the right thing. And Jim Griffith, who joined Goodrich in the late 1980s from Pepsi. He always told me that he took the job seriously – but he didn’t take himself very seriously. I gained a lot from all of them – and I take public relations seriously, but not myself. I’ll try to maintain that spirit as we look at pr on the run.
Welcome to my blog.